Media Environments: Where Movies and Texts Critique Media and Society (Second Edition)

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9781631890024: Media Environments: Where Movies and Texts Critique Media and Society (Second Edition)
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"Media Environments is based on a simple concept: combine movies with texts to critique media and society in the 21st century. Using film as a gateway to critical readings, students learn to think creatively and critically about media, society, technology, and popular culture.

Rather than examine the media as separate industries or technologies, Media Environments explores the media in their totality and provides models and theories for interrogating many universal themes that span media and global culture. Using films such as The Hunger Games, Fight Club and WALL-E as lead-ins, students are introduced to the works of well-known thinkers and writers such as Jean Baudrillard, Naomi Wolf, Neil Postman, Rebecca MacKinnon, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Julian Assange, Kalle Lasn, Stephen Hawking, and many others. Chapter topics include:

  • memes
  • networks
  • spectacle
  • hyperreality
  • news
  • science
  • ecology
  • capitalism
  • counterculture
  • social media
  • celebrity system
  • total surveillance
  • Internet freedom
  • apocalypse culture
  • media futures

The wide range of films, topics, and readings permits professors to tailor the models and theories to fit with their personal interests and expertise in teaching Media and Society or other media-related courses. With its intellectual rigor and thematic diversity, Media Environments is ideal for departments thinking about adopting a single text for their media studies courses. This anthology makes media criticism exciting, engaging, and enlightening.

Barry Vacker teaches media and cultural studies at Temple University (Philadelphia), where he is an associate professor in the School of Media and Communication. Vacker has taught media studies courses for 20 years and authored many articles and books on art, media, culture, and technology.

-His most recent articles explore the meanings of Facebook, the Hubble Space Telescope, Fight Club, and The Walking Dead.
-His most recent book, The End of the World - Again, critiques apocalyptic movies, science, and culture.
-He is the Founder of the Center for Media and Destiny, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to exploring ""the big futures"" involving media and human destiny.

He also directed the documentary film, Space Times Square, which received the international award for ""Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology"" from the Media Ecology Association in 2010. Vacker earned his Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. For Barry's full bio, go to: http://mediaanddestiny.org/barry-vacker/

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About the Author:

Barry Vacker teaches media and cultural theory at Temple University (Philadelphia) where he is the Faculty Teaching Mentor in the School of Communication and Theater. Vacker has taught media courses for fifteen years and authored many articles on art, media, culture, and technology. His recent publications include the text for Peter Granser's photography book, Signs (Hatje Cantz and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Photography, 2008), which has been featured in exhibitions around the world. Not satisfied solely with traditional academic publishing, Vacker has also authored three experimental books, Zero Conditions (2008), Crashing Into the Vanishing Points (2009), Starry Skies Moving Away (2009), all available at Amazon.com. He also directed the experimental documentary, Space Times Square (2007), which has screened in festivals around the world.

Review:

The readings in "Media Environments" offer an engaging introduction to some of the central questions in media studies. In this well-organized and provocative reader, students will discover how mass media, popular culture and digital technologies support the organization of culture and values, shaping not only personal and social identity, but consciousness itself. --Renee Hobbs, Founder, Media Education Lab, Temple University

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