Death & Media

Schools of Public Engagement: Media Studies

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Graduate Course

Degree Students

Death and Media

Spring 2021

Taught By: Deirdre Boyle

Section: A

CRN: 8597

Credits: 3

Death is the only absolute in life-it is not the “if” question, but the “when” question that either shadows our lives or illuminates them. This course asks the question: How have contemporary media reshaped our consciousness and helped reposition our attitudes toward death? Once considered the ultimate taboo, death has become the ubiquitous content and narrative staple of film and television entertainment, popular music, the shock appeal of advertisements, the theme of computer/video games, and the occasion for national media spectacles of mourning and social bonding--in fact, one might argue, death is the ultimate “media event.” When we are talking about cyborgs, vampires, terrorists, capital punishment, silicon-based life forms, dead princesses or immortal artists, we are also thinking about death. We cannot separate the moral and ethical debates over euthanasia, suicide, abortion, terrorism, war, and “ethnic cleansing” from debates about the ethics and aesthetics of the representation of death. The seminar focuses on some of the ways death is--or is not--being addressed by contemporary media. Readings will include texts by Barthes, Becker, Bataille, Baudrillard, DeLillo, Freud, Russell, Sobchack, and Sontag, among others. Sessions will engage with experimental, documentary, and fiction films, videos and audios, photographs, ads, and web sites. Students are expected to conduct outside research in developing focal areas for seminar presentations, discussions, and papers.

Media Studies courses are open to all graduate students. Undergraduate Juniors and Seniors with permission from the instructor and BA/MA Media studies students should email mediastudiesadvising@newschool.edu for access.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Media Studies (NMDS)

Campus: Online (DL)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 22

Add/Drop Deadline: February 7, 2021 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 14, 2021 (Wednesday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five 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: 6:01am 2/25/2021 EST

Meeting Info::

Days: Monday

Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm

Building: Online Course

Date Range: 1/25/2021 - 5/10/2021