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Media & Culture Bundle
In the RU Media & Culture bundle, you’ll gain insight into the war against culture being perpetrated by all forms of mainstream media. You’ll also learn the sordid history of the mass media and its role as the propaganda arm of governments, even in a “free” country like the United States. Finally, you’ll learn about the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari, who created a framework for how the masses think and become indoctrinated.
Included in This Bundle
The War on Beauty in the 21st Century
The year is 2021 and the entire world has been painted gray. The once warm and inviting facades of fast-food restaurants have been leveled to the ground and rebuilt to remove references to pleasure or family. Advertisements no longer depict beautiful people or aspirational lifestyles and instead offer a uniform, cloying vision of utopian blandness and equality. In the home, walls dividing rooms have been torn out to create a 24/7 open-plan panopticon and cozy wall-to-wall carpeting has been replaced with sterile, hygienic laminate flooring. After a long day of emailing, food is ordered via delivery app and you settle in to quietly stream a television show, some episodes of which have been removed due to a recent moral panic. Everyone around you seems inexplicably content with all of this, and no one smells like anything. What went wrong in the 2010s and how can it be corrected? In this course taught by iconoclastic cultural critic Jack the Perfume Nationalist we will examine how one decade in American history sought to eradicate truth, beauty, and art, and replace them with a politics of fear, censorship, and self-policing minimalist austerity. We will learn how engagement with large, uncontainable narratives, reevaluation of forbidden and problematized works, and rediscovery of the neglected sense of smell can reverse the effects of a lost and dehumanizing decade.
Mass Media: A History
Beginning in the late 19th century and accelerating in the 20th century, a series of technological innovations brought about the age of mass media: national newspapers, radio stations, TV networks, and now websites and social media. These new forms of media have transformed our relation to the world and altered the course of human civilization. This three-part course explores those changes in their historical context, from the development of mass media technologies to the consolidation of the media oligopoly to the fracturing of narratives that has taken place with the rise of the Internet. Together, we will examine how the mass media and the industry that has grown up around it has been engineered to produce certain effects in the population and where these technologies are directing us in the 21st century.
Deleuze and Guattari
In this course, you’ll learn how to read Deleuze and Guattari (and why they write the way they write) and the worlds they create. You’ll dig into some of their beautiful concepts, figures, and operations such as difference in itself (haecceity), repetition, the rhizome, becoming-x, a Body without Organs (BwO), schizoanalysis, immanence, assemblages, lines of flight, territorialization (as well as re- and deterritorialization), and others. It’ll be a wild ride as you’ll be nudged to think in ways you’ve never even imagined existed. The course focuses on passages from Deleuze’s “Difference & Repetition” as well as Deleuze & Guattari’s “A Thousand Plateaus” and “What is Philosophy?”