CIMS 1030 Television and New Media

MW 3:30-5pm

Room: FBH 401

Prof. Peter Dechermey ( 211)

TAs: Anat Dan (


1) Class attendance (10 points) 3 unexcused absences will result in a reduction of your final grade.

2) Share a Phrase (10 points)

Before every class meeting, upload a phrase or sentence that you heard or read during the previous class session or that you read or heard in preparatory material on the syllabus. If you miss a class, you are still responsible for submitting a phrase from the reading. If you miss three of these submissions, you will be marked down a grade (for example A to A-). 

3) 60-Second Assignments (there are two)

  1. a) In-Class Presentation (10 points)

Sign up for and do a 60-second in-class oral presentation. You will watch an episode of a 20th century TV show (i.e. made before 2000). In 60 seconds in-class, you will describe and analyze the episode. Using the material we’ve learned in class, what can you tell us about the context (production, cultural, format, etc.)?

  1. b) Video (to be screened in class)(10 points)

Make a 60-second video. The video may be a parody technology commercial or a video in one style of fan video work. 

4) Collaborative Annotated Bibliography (20 points)(DUE NOVEMBER 14)

Choose a focused research question (foe example: How did networks use Neilson ratings in programming decisions in the 1950s and 1960s? How did Twitter impact the Arab Spring?). Then identify 5 GREAT sources (articles or book chapters) that help you answer your research question. Write 300-words on each source, describing (a) the conclusions of the source as well as (b) the methods of research that supports it. These entries will be collated in a permanent and public database. You may not include more than one chapter from an individual book. Readings assigned for class do not count. You may use no more than one newspaper or magazine article; the remainder of your sources must come from books and journals. 

5) open book midterm (Oct 17) / final (date TBA) (20 points each)

There will be an in-class midterm and a final during the finals period. Please make appropriate travel plans. Booking an early flight is not an excuse for missing your final. The exams are not cumulative. The fist exam will cover the fist section on the course on the history of TV and related topics. The second exam will cover the development of the internet and related topics. Exams are open book, so you are encouraged to take good notes.  


All readings and videos will be made available through Canvas.


August 31 – Death By Television 

Sept 5 – Labor Day – no class

Sept 7 – Guest Speaker: Bill Guttentag

Sept 12 – Shaping the Public Sphere

Robert Darton, “An Early Information Society”

Debora Spar, from Ruling the Waves

Sept 14 – Inventing Television

Steven Johnson, “Error”

Malcolm Gladwell, “In the Air” 

Sept 19 – Television Industries

Christopher Anderson, “Hollywood in the Home”

Decherney, “The New Hollywood”

Sept 21 – Television Programming

Decherney, “The Studio System”

Aniko Imre, “Socialist Comedy”

Watch: Exporting Raymond (2010) 

Sept 26 – Rosh Hashanah – no class

Sept 28 – Deep Dive: Desilu

NPR Planet Money, “How Desi Invented Television” (audio)

Oct 3 – TV Advertising and News

Raymond Williams, “Advertising: The Magic System” and “Flow”

Oct 5 – Yom Kippur – no class

Oct 10 – Global TV Audiences

John Tomlinson, from Cultural Imperialism

Jo Ellen Fair on Television in Senegal

Oct 12 – Theme Parks and Exam Review

Jean Baudrillard, from Simulacra and Simulation

Oct 17 – In-class Midterm

Oct 19 – A Network of Networks

Manuel Castells, “Lessons from the History of the Internet” 

Marta Figlerowicz, ”Counter-Histories of the Internet

Oct 24 – Cyberutopianism

John Perry Barlow, “Declaration of Independence for Cyberspace”

dana boyd, “Hacking the Attention Economy” 

Oct 26 – The Myth of the Global Internet

Claire Evans, from Broad Band 

Goldsmith and Wu, “The God of the Internet” 

Oct 31 – Free and Open Source Software (and Culture) 

Lawrence Lessig, Remix, pp 23-57 

“The GNU Manifesto”

Nov 2 – From Cyberspace to the Internet of Things

Vanevar Bush, “As We May Think”

William Gibson, “Academy Leader” 

Decherney, “Smart is the New Locked”

Nov 7- Revolutionaries and Authoritarians 

Hillary Clinton, speech on internet freedom

Kraidy, “The People Want”

Evgeni Morozov, from The Net Delusion 

Nov 9 – Regulating Internet Speech

Watch: Laura Poitrus’s “Citizenfour” [documentary]

Nov 14 – Mobile Media

guest speaker: Steve Horowitz

Annotated Bibliographies Due

Nov 16 – Web 2.0: Convergence and Remix Culture 

Henry Jenkins, “Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars

Francesca Coppa, from Vidding 

Guest: Francesca Coppa

Nov 21 – Equity and Sustainability 

Chris Ali, Senate Testimony 

Nov 23 – no class

Nov 28 – Streamers

Guests: Alexandra Milchan and Scott Lambert

Nov 30 – The Metaverse

Ivan Sutherland, “The Ultimate Display” 

Mark Zuckerberg on the metaverse 

Dec 5 – Building Virtual Worlds with Agora 1

Dec 7 – Building Virtual Worlds with Agora 2

Dec 12 – Exam Review

TBD – Final exam