Fall 2007

NMEA20H Introduction to New Media in the Humanities and Social Sciences


Leslie Chan
Room B570

Teaching Assistant
Stephen Tracy


“New media” is an emerging and highly interdisciplinary field of inquiry. In this course we explore how new cultural objects and representations created by digital technologies are becoming the subject and object of studies in the humanities and social sciences. On the one hand, we are interested in how the humanities and social sciences have contributed to the critical understanding of the impact of new media on various aspects of our social life and creative activities. On the other hand, we are interested in how new media has altered the way research and scholarly inquiries are being conducted in the humanities and social sciences.

Purpose and Goals

Students in this course will develop critical analytical skills while becoming familiar with a variety of digital media; they will learn to apply media theories and concepts from diverse fields to new media production; write concise descriptive and analytical reviews; present their work to an audience, and engage in thoughtful discussions both online and in class. Since it is near impossible for students who are not actively engaged in media production to properly understand the meaning of "new media", students are also required to complete a variety of hands-on projects for the course.

Class format

The class will meet once a week for a two-hour lecture. Students are also required to attend one lab/tutorial per week. Students are expected to stay in the same tutorial they signed in at the beginning of the term.


Attending lectures and tutorials and online participation in this course are mandatory. Students must activate their UTSC email account in order to access some of the course resources and bulletin board on ATutor. Students are expected to attend all lectures and tutorials except for medical or other exceptional reasons. Assigned readings are expected to be read before each lecture. Students are also expected to visit the web links associated with the lectures.

Course materials

We will not be using a standard textbook this term. Instead, we will be reading a variety of articles from academic journals, excerpts from books, and selected writings and media pieces from web sites and DVDs. All readings are available online, either through the course regular web pages or through ATutor.


    Due dates
Participation (online and tutorial) 10%  
Biographical statement (2 pages) 5% Oct. 11
Game critique (4-5 pages) 15% October 25
In-class quiz   10% November 1
Digital story 25% November 29
Final examination 35%   Exam period in December

Late assignments are subject to a penalty of 5% deduction per day.


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