‘media studies’ revisited

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This is my tenth and final blog post, so I thought I’d use it as an opportunity to look back on the course. First and foremost, this course has forced me to read some literary theory, which I will admit is not my favourite. However, the small dose each week made it more manageable, and I appreciated the ways we were able to connect the things we read about to TV, video games, movies, and other more familiar (and relevant?) examples. The discussions we had in class were thought-provoking, and other seminar members brought up interesting examples that I wouldn’t have thought of. My only wish is that we’d had more time to discuss some of the applied presentations, since those were often the ones that tied together the theory and the relevant.

I’ve warmed up to the idea of reading theory – not to say that I’ll necessarily read it every day, just for fun, but I will admit that it can often be applied to life. This was a nice introduction to some mind-boggling ideas about our society and the things we take for granted. I am still trying to figure out what makes something a ‘medium,’ and I admit that sometimes the medium is, in fact, the message.

For my term paper/project/compilation, I wanted to delve into the mixtape as a medium. This project was simultaneously excruciating and thrilling; I connected the first real mixtape I made (at 16, for a boyfriend) to one I made specifically for the project (for my sister). A mixtape is much like an essay or novel in structure, but it often contains a lot of ‘between the lines’ style emotion and memory recollection. Through making the mixtape for my sister, I smiled, laughed, and reminisced. After handing in the project, I showed her the playlist (still in iTunes, rather than in a physical form – Sterne would not approve!), and she admitted that it really was a pretty good summary of our close relationship.

Ultimately, I enjoyed this seminar and looked forward to it each week; the two hours rarely dragged and I nearly always left the room still pondering whatever we’d been discussing. I will (hopefully) continue to formulate a more complete opinion on the benefits and downfalls of media. Of course, I will likely also use this as an excuse to continue watching terrible reality TV, procrastinating via video games, and listening to music rather than studying. Oh well; some things never change 🙂