Last year, I wrote a piece on this site about teaching the same course, over and over and over. I argued that repetition can be a useful tool for developing one’s skill as a lecturer, allowing for polished ‘bits’ to emerge, similar to stand-up comedy.
Well, one of the downsides to all this repetition has to be that I end up watching the same media clips and documentaries over and over and over again too. I try to keep things somewhat lively by switching clips, but a few media texts have become canon in my teaching.
Whenever I get a course involving media history, and I have a week to talk about writing and the printing press… I show The Name of the Rose. It’s awesome, it features a painfully young Christian Slater, and it illustrates really nicely how books ‘make’ a new kind of human being.
Whenever I get a course involving contemporary media production and the way in which the internet has blurred the boundaries between consumers and producers… I show RIP! A Remix Manifesto. It’s a great mash-up of a documentary, introducing students to the tangled and insane history of copyright laws.
And whenever I get a course where I am free to talk about television, as an industry and as the set of audio-visual texts that continue to form the heart of our global media experience… I show Network. Read More