Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

COMU1212 - Social-history of media

Credits : 5

Lecturer :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , second term, 30 hours of theory.

Timetable :
Second term
Thursday from 10:45 to 12:45

Language of instruction :

Learning outcomes :
1) Acquiring a general knowledge of the history of analog and digital media (press, broadcasting, cinema, computer, Internet, mobile phones)

2) Acquiring a better understanding of the social, cultural, political, economic and technological influences that contributed to shape the emergence and evolution of the media.

3) Developing one's critical thinking on the transformations of the media landscape (including digital transformations) and their social, cultural and political dimensions.

4) Introducing oneself to the production of an online audiovisual content for a media education and/or science popularization purpose.

Prerequisites :
For the Bachelor in History :

For the Bachelor in Information and Communication :

For the Bachelor in Political Sciences: General :

For the Bachelor in Sociology and Anthropology :

Co-requisites :

Course contents :
The teaching unit provides a set of socio-historical benchmarks on the emergence and evolution of ‘analog' and ‘digital' media. Social, cultural, political, economic and technological aspects of the history of media (and audiences) are addressed. Each time, the aim is to situate the media (and their audiences) in a multidimensional context that shapes their evolution (one can think, for example, of the political context or technological innovation) but on which they also act.

The teaching unit also offers students the opportunity to learn how to produce an audiovisual production for media literacy and/or science popularisation purpose. This production deepens one of the teaching unit's compulsory readings and uses live streaming technology.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
The teaching unit uses three teaching methods:

1) Students will be required to read in depth a series of texts on the social-history of the media. This reading is first done on an individual basis. Then, during class sessions (face-to-face or at a distance), students help each other to answer collectively a series of questions (reading guides provided beforehand) aimed at structuring their understanding of the texts. They can freely use the resources available on the internet (face-to-face classes are held in a computer room). Moodle will be used to share these resources throughout the class as a whole.

2) Students are expected to develop an individual online portfolio to demonstrate the various research and reflections that underlie their work in reading the required texts. The exact modalities of portfolio development and assessment will be specified at the beginning of the course.

3) Students in small groups (if necessary at a distance) will also be asked to produce an audiovisual production consisting of a presentation, via a live streaming technology, of a scientific text extending one of the teaching unit's compulsory readings. These programmes can be watched by other students at a distance, as they are broadcast on the internet within the university. The exact arrangements for producing and evaluating the programmes will be specified at the beginning of the course.

This teaching unit does not include any lectures as such. It relies on the fact that students work on the course material on their own, fill in their portfolios independently, and take advantage of the course sessions to collectively develop a knowledge of the ‘subject'. The active participation of students is therefore a prerequisite for the smooth running and success of the teaching unit.

A course site on Moodle is used, among other things, for communication between teacher and students and for sharing teaching resources.

Assessment methods and criteria :

The evaluation has three components:
1) a written examination (40% of the final mark) on compulsory readings. Students may have annotated course materials for the examination. If the health situation requires it, the written exam is taken remotely on Moodle.
2) the portfolio (30% of the final mark) documenting the in-depth reading of the required texts. The exact evaluation criteria will be specified at the beginning of the course.
3) the online audiovisual production, which extends and enriches the compulsory readings. The exact evaluation criteria will be specified at the beginning of the course. This performance is subject to a collective mark and account for 30% of the final mark.

The teaching unit cannot run smoothly without the active participation of students in the course sessions. This is why the attendance is checked at each session, either in person or at a distance. A student who is absent without justification from more than two sessions obtains an overall mark of 0/20 in June.

The final grade is the result of a weighted average of the marks obtained in the three components of the assessment. In the event of failure of the final grade, the failed components of the assessment must be represented.

The same assessments as in June apply in September, except that:
- the audiovisual production is made individually unless the whole sub-group fails, in which case the audiovisual production is made collectively;
- attendance is no longer taken into account.

Recommended or required reading :
The list of the required readings will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Selected bibliography:

Arnold, K., Preston, P., et Kinnebrock, S. (dir.), The Handbook of European Communication History, Wiley-Blackwell, 2019.

Balbi, G., et Magaudda, P., A History of Digital Media. An Intermedia and Global Perspective, Londres et New York, Routledge, 2018.

Barbier, F., et Bertho-Lavenir,C., Histoire des médias de Diderot à Internet, Paris, Armand Colin, 1996.

Casetti, F., et Odin, R., « De la paléo- à la néo-télévision », in Communications, n°51, 1990, pp.9-26.

De Bens, E., « La presse au temps de l'occupation de la Belgique (1940-1944) », in Revue d'Histoire de la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale, n°80, 1970, pp.1-28.

Eisenstein, E. L., La Révolution de l'imprimé à l'aube de l'Europe moderne, Paris, La Découverte, 1991.

Flichy, P. Une histoire de la communication moderne. Espace public et vie privée, Paris, La Découverte, 1997.

Flichy, P., L'imaginaire d'Internet, Paris, La Découverte, 2001.

Jeanneney, J.-N., Une histoire des médias des origines à nos jours, Paris, Seuil, 1996.

Van den Dungen, P., Milieux de presse et journalistes en Belgique (1828-1914), Bruxelles, Académie royale de Belgique, 2005.

Other information :
The compulsory readings can be in English.